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London tornado swarm

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The London Tornado swarm of 2006 was a significant UK tornado swarm which spawned eight tornadoes from a squall line moving over the city on December 7, 2006 between 11:00 am GMT and 11.45am GMT.

The first tornado (Its intensity is estimated at F2 on the Fujita scale) struck the Kensal Green area of North-West London at approximately 11.02am GMT, sweeping through several streets over the course of three minutes, injuring six people, and causing moderate or severe damage to at least 100 properties. It is believed to have been marginally stronger than the Birmingham Tornado of July 28, 2005.

The second tornado (estimated F3) touched down on the Thames, producing a waterspout 75 feet across, at approximately 11.08am GMT upstream of the Houses of Parliament, it passes directly over the Houses of Parliament before turning and hitting Downing St and Whitechapel. It causes major damage to the Palace of Westminster, removing the part of the roof of the House of Lords and smashing the west face of Big Ben. The main cafeteria's roof collapses, several MP's are killed among them Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and Speaker of the Commons Michael Martins (he had only been re-elected on the 8th of May) another 47 are buried and are dug out by other MP's and peers. Downing street is blocked by falling masonry causing Prime Minister Tony Blair to climb over the rubble to reach a car to take him to Parliament. However, this had also been hit by falling rubble and he had to hail a black hackney cab to take him. This tornado kills 27 people and injures another 125.

The third tornado (estimated F2) touched down in Hyde park at approximately 11.16am. Iit moved north east over Marylebone and dissipated over Regents park. this tornado kills the most people as they are caught out in the parks. It kills 57 people and injures another 147.

The fourth tornado (estimated F1) touched down near blackfriars bridge at approximately 11.21am GMT. Iit moved along the Thames before dissipating after passing over London Bridge, one car is flipped off the bridge into the water, the driver escapes the sinking car, and a double decker bus is blown onto its side. This tornado kills no one but injures 36 (22 of which are in the bus).

The fifth tornado (estimated F2) touched down in Southwark at approximately 11.26am GMT. It travelled north east over HMS Belfast, breaking it free of its moorings and it then washed downstream hitting Tower Bridge causing damage to the northern end, and the Tower of London, demolishing the top of the southwest tower of the White tower, before dissipating over Bethnall Green. Seven people are killed including three yeoman warders (beefeaters) at the Tower, and also five of the nine Ravens of the Eower are also killed by falling masonry. 72 are injured.

The sixth tornado (estimated F3) touched down near HMP Holloway prison at approximately 11.32am GMT. It travelled east hitting Arsenal FC's stadium Highbury removing the majority of the roof before turning north and dissipating in Finsbury Park. The damage caused to HMP Holloway allows 22 inmates to escape however six were killed in the tornado. 23 are killed and 67 injured including several members of Arsenal FC's first team who were in training in Highbury at the time of the tornado.

The seventh tornado (estimated F1) touched down near Victoria tube station at 11.36am GMT and travelled north-north east, it goes through Buckingham Palace's rear garden (where HM The Queen watches it uproot several trees, flatten the surrounding boundary wall and destroying a boat house) then Piccadilly Circus bending the famous statue (of the angel of Christian Charity - not Eros as many people think) on the Shaftsbury Memorial Fountain before dissipating over Leicester Square. It kills one and injures 17 others.

The eighth tornado (estimated F1 or lower) touched down near Fenchurch tube station at 11.42am GMT. It travels north before dissipating over Shoreditch, this did very little damage. kills no one and only injures four.

Totals for the London tornado swarm of 2006 is 115 dead, 474 injured and £3.2 billion damages.

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